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An appropriate inheritance: On being, and not being – An audience researcher

Das, Ranjana (2014) An appropriate inheritance: On being, and not being – An audience researcher International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, 10 (2). pp. 227-232.

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The title for this article1 is inspired by a compelling novel I once read, by an Indian English author, Kiran Desai. Titled ‘The Inheritance of Loss’, the novel maps out the intertwining lives of a young Indian girl Sai, her grandfather, and her Nepalese lover, set against the backdrop of the ‘messy map’ of Indian borders merging with the borders of Bhutan, high up in the Himalayan mountains. The protagonists then move negotiating race, class and ethnicity as the messy map – of borders and identities – begins to involve Cambridge, and the rest of England. What resonated with me the most was the protagonist Sai’s realization that, in order to make sense of the messy map of her past, her present and indeed – her inheritance that shapes who she is –‘Never again could she think there was but one narrative and that this narrative belonged only to herself, that she might create her own tiny happiness and live safely within it.’ So, borrowing from Sai’s realization about multiple narratives, in this article I will write, as an ‘early career academic’, of my experiences of entering a field of audience research where many proclaimed it dead to begin with, and I began, in all earnest – to prove that indeed, audience research wasn’t dead, that there was much to do, that there is a particular narrative of the field that everybody must surely note and value and draw from, and most importantly – that I had an identity. I was an audience researcher. It was in being an audience researcher that I ‘might create my own tiny happiness and live safely within it’.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Date : 1 June 2014
DOI : 10.1386/macp.10.2.227_3
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2014 Intellect Ltd.
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 13 Jul 2017 13:32
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:54

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